BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur on Wednesday blamed the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for creating an atmosphere of doubt over the India-Pakistan clash scheduled to be held in Dharamsala on March 19.
Thakur’s tirade against the Chief Minister comes a day after Pakistan Cricket Board put its team departure on hold following security concerns in the hill station.
The PCB now wants the match to be played elsewhere in India.
“After the directive of the court, the CM saying that atmosphere is not good (in the state), raises a question mark. When you say the match can’t take place nine days before the tournament (World T20), I don’t think any CM of other states would make a statement like that,” Thakur, who also heads Himachal cricket and is a BJP MP, said.
Asked on the likely change of venue, Thakur said: “Pakistan and ICC will do their own assessment. I can only say that a wrong signal has been sent to the world by the Himachal CM. His statements nine days before a world event like this could have been avoided. The first match will played in Dharamsala today and CM saying that the the venue is not safe, it dents the image of the state and country,” Thakur added.
After a recce of Dharamsala by a team sent by Pakistan government on Tuesday, the PCB was reluctant to play at the picturesque venue.
“The Himachal Pradesh chief minister has not committed full security for the match and the Indian government has also not come up with any assuring statement… Under the prevailing circumstances how can we allow our team to play there?” PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said on Tuesday.
Feature image source: PTI